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TSX set to rise following sharp decline

Related news TSX gets lift from financials, U.S. markets rise to highest since March Keywords Marketwatch Toronto stock market dips on weakness in the energy and financials sectors Share this article and your comments with peers on social media S&P/TSX composite hits highest close since March on strength of financials sector U.S. futures were also positive as investors got some good news two days before the release of the U.S. non-farm payrolls report for February. Payroll company ADP reported that the American private sector created 216,000 jobs during the month. Economists have expected the report to say that overall 210,000 jobs were created last month in the U.S. That would be the third consecutive month that the U.S. has racked up job gains of at least 200,000. The Dow Jones industrial futures gained 51 points to 12,795, the Nasdaq futures were ahead 12.2 points to 2,601.8 while the S&P 500 futures advanced 5.7 points to 1,347.6. The TSX and the Dow plunged about 200 points on Tuesday after slower growth prospects for China and data showing the eurozone economy contracted in the fourth quarter of last year raised worries about the strength of a global economy still trying to recover from the 2008 financial crisis and recession. Commodity prices were higher after economic concerns sent oil, copper and gold sharply lower. The April crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 49 cents to US$105.19 a barrel after losing US$2 Wednesday. Copper prices stabilized after demand concerns sent the metal tumbling 12 cents and the May contract was unchanged at US$3.74 a pound. And the April gold contract in New York rose $9.60 to US$1,681.70 an ounce. Greece also again weighed on markets over concerns the country won’t attract enough investor support for a deal meant to head off a messy default. Thursday marks the last day the country’s private creditors can sign up to a deal meant to slash €106 billion off Athens’ books. They have been asked to accept to swap their bonds for new ones with a face value that is 53% lower and with longer maturities and lower interest rates. Some creditors, including hedge funds, are thought to be weighing up the benefits of holding out for a potentially bigger insurance return. If the takeup is below 90%, but still above the crucial 66% threshold for the deal to go ahead, the Greek government could force holdouts to accept the swap. That may be considered a credit event — a technical term for a default — meaning bond insurers would have to pay the Greek bondholders. In earnings news, copper miner First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (TSX:FM) said after the market close Tuesday that net quarterly earnings were $76 million, or 16 cents per share, compared to $454.7 million a year ago. During that quarter, the company benefited from a $510.8-million sale of investments. Revenues were $567.3 million, down from $707.8 million a year earlier. Earnings were affected by lower realized copper prices, lower sales volumes and inflationary cost pressures. Ontario-based auto parts manufacturer Linamar Corp. (TSX:LNR) also reported Tuesday that quarterly net income rose to $27 million or 42 cents per share on $718 million of sales. Patent licensing company Wi-LAN (TSX:WIN) posted net income of US$31.8 million, or 25 cents per share on a diluted level, in the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2011 with US$105.8 million of revenue. Those are records for the company and compare with a loss of $21.6 million or 21 cents per share for 2010 when Wi-LAN generated $49.2 million in annual revenue. Wi-LAN also said it is raising its dividend to three cents per share, up 20% from the previous quarterly dividend level. Elsewhere on the corporate front, Air Canada’s (TSX:AC.B) largest union has served notice that it intends to begin a strike at 12:01 a.m. ET on March 12 unless a new contract is signed by then. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers represents about 8,600 mechanics, baggage handlers and cargo agents. The workers had rejected a tentative contract settlement signed in February. Bank of Nova Scotia (TSX:BNS) said Wednesday it has agreed to buy New Orleans-based boutique energy investment firm Howard Weil Inc. for an undisclosed amount. Howard Weil specializes in providing equity research, institutional sales and trading, and investment banking services for the oil and gas industry. And Apple is holding an event Wednesday in San Francisco, and has hinted that it will reveal a new iPad model. Rumours speak of an updated tablet with a speedier processor, a sharper screen and an option for faster wireless broadband access. European bourses were positive with London’s FTSE 100 index up 0.34%, Frankfurt’s DAX gained 0.2% and the Paris CAC 40 rose 0.64%. Earlier, Asian markets were negative as Japan’s Nikkei 225 index fell 0.6%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slid 0.9% and South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.9%. In mainland China, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.7% while the Shenzhen Composite Index for China’s second, smaller exchange lost 0.5%. The Toronto stock market looked set to claw back some of the sharp losses from the previous session Wednesday as commodity prices advanced. The Canadian dollar was little changed, down to 0.06 of a cent at 99.88 cents US after closing below parity Tuesday for the first time since Feb. 10. Malcolm Morrison Facebook LinkedIn Twitter read more